BOSTON (CBS) – You protect your house with paint; make sure you also protect it with insurance for it’s the largest hard asset you own.
When you purchase homeowner’s insurance you usually get coverage for lots more than the structure of the house.
Most of us own an HO3 policy and it covers you against fire, lighting, wind, hail, explosions, riots, aircraft wrecks, vehicle wrecks, smoke, vandalism, theft, breaking glass, falling objects, weight of snow or sleet, collapsing buildings, freezing of plumbing fixtures, electrical damage and water damage from plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems to the basic structure of the home, outside buildings such as a detached garages or sheds. It also covers the contents of your home usually up to an amount equal to 50% of the value of the home.
A standard homeowner’s policy does not cover terrorism, acts of war, nuclear accidents, earthquakes, floods or extensive mold damage.
Your policy will usually cover your personal items even if something happens to them when you have removed them from the home, such as your kid goes off to college or your golf clubs are stolen from your car.
Your policy will provide some limited liability insurance. If someone is injured on your property or harmed by something you own like a dog or your snow mobile you can be held liable for such injuries. You may want to increase this coverage.
Collectibles such as antiques, oriental rugs, coins and stamps are not normally covered. There is often an internal limit to how much an insurance company will pay for such things as jewelry and furs so you will need to purchase extra insurance in the form of a rider to your policy for anything of value not covered.
If you work at home, you want to be sure you have coverage for your equipment and any liabilities that might arise due to your home office.
One more thing: You need to be covered for at least 80% of the value of your home, if you fall below that number the insurance company can refuse to reimburse you in full for a total loss. Be sure the contents are covered for replacement costs as well.